Merrill-Stevens closes yacht sales, charter divisions

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Merrill-Stevens will discontinue its Fort Lauderdale-based yacht sales and charter divisions and focus entirely on its core yacht repair and refit business, the South Florida Business Journal reported in a story yesterday.

While the yacht sales division experienced some success during its three-year operation, the company said competing yacht brokers and yacht management firms often would not refer their clients to the shipyard because of possible competition from an in-house sales brokerage division, the newspaper reported.

“Focusing on our core business – yacht repair/refit and maintenance – will assure referring yacht brokers and yacht management firms that we are serving their needs – not competing with them,” CEO Fred Kirtland, was quoted as saying.

As a result of the shift, the company will eliminate four positions and transfer some administrative staff to its shipyard operations. The sales and charter brokers are independent contractors, and the company said it will help them, and their clients, with the transition, according to the story.

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